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Dell TV ad banned

As ASA rules hole-in-the-head nothing to do with sex

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Dell Computers has been rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority for a misleading telly ad.

According to the ASA, Dell ran a TV advert including the line: "Whatever you need a PC for, Dell has the one you want for less than you might expect. Right now get this Dell Inspiron notebook featuring an Intel Celeron processor for only £299."

The only trouble was the machine was not available for £299. Twenty-three complainants said the machine was only available for £349, two people said the machine was offered for £299, but the price went up when they selected it.

Dell claimed the price of £349 included an "upgraded service package" and that customers could unselect upgraded options to find the advertised price. Dell told the ASA this was accepted industry practice.

The complaint was upheld and the ad must not be shown again in current form.

Today's other technology complaint was against Eidos Interactive for a magazine advert for "Hitman: Blood Money". The picture showed a woman in her underwear with a bullet hole in her forehead and the headline: "Beautifully Executed". People complained to the ASA about the juxtaposition of death and sexuality.

Eidos said the ad was not about violent sex but was intended as a parody of a perfume ad - presumably that horrible Opium poster. The Edge magazine, where the ad appeared, said its readers were adult and hardcore gamers and none had complained.

The ASA said Beautifully Executed was a play on words and that it was unlikely to cause offense to adult gamers. The complaint was rejected.

The Eidos poster, and some discussion of it, is available here thanks to Joystiq.com.®

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